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Pedro G Ferreira's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Pedro G Ferreira recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Pedro G Ferreira's favorite book recommendations of all time.



Making a New Science

Few writers distinguish themselves by their ability to write about complicated, even obscure topics clearly and engagingly. In Chaos, James Gleick, a former science writer for the New York Times, shows that he resides in this exclusive category. Here he takes on the job of depicting the first years of the study of chaos--the seemingly random patterns that characterise many natural phenomena.

This is not a purely technical book. Instead, it focuses as much on the scientists studying chaos as on the chaos itself. In the pages of Gleick's book, the reader meets dozens of...

Recommended by Pedro G Ferreira, Adam Maloof, and 2 others.

Pedro G FerreiraIt turns out that even simple equations can have such complicated behaviour that, in practice, it’s impossible to predict the outcome, which is described as ‘chaotic’. (Source)

Adam MaloofJames Gleick is a former science writer for the New York Times and in this book Gleick describes the science of chaos, and how complex systems can also be interpreted in terms of simple rules and simple (but interacting) behaviours. (Source)

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'A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies.' Michael Frayn

The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called the British Einstein. He was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in twentieth-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home...

Eric Weinstein[Eric Weinstein recommended this book on Twitter.] (Source)

Marcus ChownGraham Farmelo said that he’d never met anyone – even in Bristol where Paul Dirac grew up and lived – who’d ever heard of him: the greatest English physicist since Newton! (Source)

Pedro G FerreiraOut of a fascination with mathematical beauty Dirac discovered the natural world. (Source)

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In Electric Universe, David Bodanis weaves tales of romance, divine inspiration, and fraud through a lucid account of the invisible force that permeates our universe. In these pages the virtuoso scientists who plumbed the secrets of electricity come vividly to life, including familiar giants like Thomas Edison; the visionary Michael Faraday, who struggled against the prejudices of the British class system; and Samuel Morse, a painter who, before inventing the telegraph, ran for mayor of New York on a platform of persecuting Catholics. Here too is Alan Turing, whose dream of a marvelous... more
Recommended by Pedro G Ferreira, and 1 others.

Pedro G FerreiraIf you look back 50 years, it’s clear that how the fundamental rules of electricity and magnetism came about is a pinnacle of theoretical physics. (Source)

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In August 1930, on a voyage by boat from Bombay to England, the young Indian scientist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar—Chandra, as he was called—looked up at the stars and contemplated their fate. He calculated that certain stars would suffer a violent death, collapsing almost to nothing. This extraordinary claim, the first mathematical description of black holes, rankled one of the foremost astrophysicists of the day, Sir Arthur Eddington. When Chandra expounded his theory in front of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1935, Eddington subjected him to humiliating public ridicule, setting into... more
Recommended by Pedro G Ferreira, and 1 others.

Pedro G FerreiraChandrasekhar’s ideas about the formation of black holes were absolutely right but he was crushed by Eddington. Completely stamped on. (Source)

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Why did the stock market crash more than 500 points on a single Monday in 1987? Why do ancient species often remain stable in the fossil record for millions of years and then suddenly disappear? In a world where nice guys often finish last, why do humans value trust and cooperation? At first glance these questions don't appear to have anything in common, but in fact every one of these statements refers to a complex system. The science of complexity studies how single elements, such as a species or a stock, spontaneously organize into complicated structures like ecosystems and economies; stars... more

Bill GurleyThis is such a great point. This is the essence of Complexity Theory. With complex systems (multi-variable, nonlinear), you have no idea if the variable you are using for analysis will hold over the long term. Read this book, it changes everything - (Source)

Ryan Petersen@trengriffin @mjmauboussin @bgurley Which one is better? I love Waldrop, never found a better complexity book (besides Big History, great courses) (Source)

Pedro G FerreiraIdeas of complexity have not been applied to cosmology as much as I think they should be. (Source)

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